10. Final words
2. Retail package, installation
3. Test Configuration
4. Benchmarks - Everest Ultimate Edition, SiSoftware Sandra
5. Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage, SYSmark 2007 Preview
6. Benchmarks - MAXON CINEBENCH, x264 HD Benchmark, TMPGEnc 4 Xpress
7. Benchmarks - SuperPI, wPrime
8. Benchmarks - 3DMark06
9. Benchmarks - Overclocking
10. Final words
The recent release of the Intel Yorkfield processor provides a new "budget" solution for quad core lovers. Apart from the difference in the retail price, the two available Intel Q9300 and the Q9450 models offer different capabilities.
Intel's migration from the 65nm to the 45nm manufacturing process gave us hopes that this baby would overclock like crazy, especially since the Q6600 had been proved a very overclockable model. The truth is that the Intel Q9300 can be overclocked up to 3.3~3.4GHz without much effort, when combined with a motherboard, that can set voltages etc.. Pushing the CPU above the 3.4GHz requires many tests and probably additional cooling for NorthBridge to keep the system cool and stable.
When compared with a C2D, in our case Intel E6750, the Intel Q9300 is the faster especially when the application/game is designed to take advantage of all four available cores. We assume that in video and audio encoding tasks, the Q9300 will be proved a very good solution for you considering its "low" retail price (~235 Euro).
Normal/desktop users and especially gamers will not benefit from buying the Intel Q9300, either in terms of performance and overclocking. In this case, we assume that you could spend some additional euros in order to have the overclocking champions Intel E8400 and E8500 CPUs that can reach up to 4.2GHz speeds!
To sum up, the Intel Q9300 is an interesting processor for users that can't do without a quad core. Many users may disagree or even prefer the Intel Q6600 that costs 15 euros less and offer more overclocking margins. Others may save 90-100 Euros and buy the Intel E8400 that will be faster in absolute terms of gaming/desktop use. As always, the final choice is yours.